Mt. Mayon’s alert level was not raised at the same time as Taal Volcano’s unrest

January 13, 2020 - 4:02 PM
Mt. Mayon
Mayon Volcano belches white steam. (Philippine Information Agency/Released)

Mt. Mayon’s alert level was not raised at the same time as the violent activity of the Taal Volcano despite rumors swirling online.

Some social media users clarified that the Bicol-based volcano has been on Alert Level 2 since January 2018 after it emitted steam and ash at that time.

Its status has not changed, based on the volcano bulletin released by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology as of 8 a.m. on January 13, Wednesday.

“Alert Level 2 currently prevails over Mayon Volcano. This means that Mayon is at a moderate level of unrest. DOST-PHIVOLCS reminds the public that sudden explosions, lava collapses, pyroclastic density currents or PDCs and ashfall can still occur and threaten areas in the upper to middle slopes of Mayon,” it noted.

Alert Level 2 for Mt. Mayon means that the unrest “could eventually lead to eruption.”

It is when a low-to-moderate seismic activity is recorded, as well as an increase of sulfur dioxide influx. The crater is also seen to have a faint or intermittent glow.

A science organization appealed for everyone to stop panicking as its alert level did not simultaneously increase with the current unrest of Taal Volcano.

“Totoo po na ang Bulkang Mayon ay nasa Alert Level 2 ngayon, pero ito po ay nasa lebel na ito simula noong 2018 pa dahil sa patuloy na aktibidad,” Earth Shaker Philippines said.

“HINDI po totoong sabay na tumaas ang Alert Levels ng Mayon at Taal kahapon. Huwag po tayong magpakalat ng ikaka-panic ng mga tao,” it added.

On Mayon’s Alert Level 2: Hindi po sabay na biglang tumaas ang Alert Level ng Mayon at Taal kahapon! Totoo po na ang…

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In the organization’s Twitter page, it reminded the public to monitor authorized sources like Phivolcs as people from Albay might panic from the unverified claims linking Mt. Mayon to Taal Volcano.

Taal Volcano, which is on another province entirely, is currently on Alert Level 4 based on the bulletin issued by Phivolcs at 8 a.m. of January 13, Wednesday.

According to its respective alert signals, this means that a “hazardous eruption is possible within days.”

The volcano is experiencing “intense unrest, continuing seismic swarms, including harmonic tremor and/or ‘low frequency earthquakes'” and “profuse steaming along existing and perhaps new vents and fissures.”

Last December, Phivolcs said that Taal Volcano is on Alert Level 1 following its “abnormal condition” in March 2019, when several volcanic earthquakes were recorded by the agency.

Alert Level 1 means there is a detection of “magmatic, tectonic or hydrothermal disturbance” but no imminent eruption.